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It’s 1 1/2 hours long, but well worth your time…

“The Whiter The Bread, The Sooner You’re Dead.”

bread-white

It has been known for a long time that white bread and refined grains in general aren’t particularly nutritious.

Nutritionists and dietitians all around the world have encouraged us to eat whole grains instead. But grains, especially gluten grains like wheat, have been under intense scrutiny in recent years.

Many respected health professionals now claim that bread and other sources of gluten grains are unnecessary at best and potentially harmful.

Bread is High in Carbs and Can Spike Blood Sugar Levels

Even whole grain bread usually isn’t made out of actual “whole” grains.

They are grains that have been pulverized into very fine flour. Even though this process reserves the nutrients, it causes these products to be digested rapidly. The starches in bread get broken down quickly in the digestive tract and enter the bloodstream as glucose.

This causes a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. Even whole wheat bread spikes blood sugar faster than many candy bars. When blood sugar goes up rapidly, it tends to go down just as quickly. When blood sugar goes down, we become hungry.

This is the blood sugar roller coaster that is familiar to people on high carb diets. Soon after eating, they become hungry again, which calls for another high-carb snack. Elevated blood sugars can also cause glycation at the cellular level when the blood sugars react with proteins in the body.

This is one of the components of ageing. Studies on carb restricted diets (which eliminate/reduce starches and sugars) suggest that individuals who are diabetic or need to lose weight should avoid ALL grains.

Bottom Line: Most breads are made of pulverized wheat. They are easily digested and rapidly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to the notorious blood sugar “roller coaster” and stimulate overeating.

Bread Contains a Lot of Gluten

Wheat contains a large amount of a protein called gluten. This protein has glue-like properties (hence the name gluten) responsible for dough’s viscoelastic properties. Evidence is mounting that a significant percentage of the population is sensitive to gluten. When we eat bread that contains gluten (wheat, spelt, rye and barley), the immune system in our digestive tract “attacks” the gluten proteins.

Controlled trials in people without celiac disease show that gluten damages the wall of the digestive tract, causing pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and tiredness. Gluten sensitivity is also associated with some cases of schizophrenia and cerebellar ataxia – both serious disorders of the brain.

Gluten is probably harmful for most people, not just those with diagnosed celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The only way to really know if you’re gluten sensitive is to remove gluten from your diet for 30 days and then reintroduce it and see whether it affects you.

Bottom Line: Most breads are made of gluten grains. Gluten causes an immune response in the digestive tract of susceptible individuals. This can cause digestive issues, pain, bloating, tiredness and other symptoms.

boy-eating-a-sandwich

Bread Contains Other Harmful Substances

Most commercial types of bread contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, just like other processed foods. Sugar causes many adverse effects and eating processed foods that contain it is likely to have detrimental effects on health. Most grains also include the “anti nutrient” phytic acid.

Phytic acid is a molecule that strongly binds essential minerals like calcium, iron and zinc, preventing them from being absorbed. Soaking grains before baking can degrade the phytic acid, which should improve the availability of minerals.

Bottom Line: Most breads contain sugar, which is extremely bad for you. They also contain “anti nutrients” that block the absorption of minerals like calcium, iron and zinc.

Bread is Low in Essential Nutrients

There is NO nutrient in bread that you can’t get from other foods in even greater amounts.

Even whole wheat bread isn’t as nutritious as you may think. Not only is it low in nutrients compared to other real foods, it literally reduces the absorption of nutrients from other foods.

> Calorie for calorie, whole grain breads contain a low amount of nutrients compared to real foods like vegetables.

> The physic acid blocks absorption of minerals like iron, zinc and calcium.

> By damaging the intestinal lining, gluten decreases the absorption of all nutrients.

> Grains do not contain all the essential amino acids and are therefore poor sources of protein for humans.

> Wheat fiber may cause your body to burn through its Vitamin D stores much faster and contribute to vitamin d deficiency, which is associated with cancer, diabetes and death.

Bottom Line: Most breads aren’t very nutritious and the proteins in them aren’t of much use. A damaged intestinal lining along with phytic acid reduces availability of nutrients. Wheat may also exacerbate vitamin d deficiency.

wheat-field

Whole Wheat Raises The Bad Cholesterol

In one study, 36 men were randomized into two groups. They were instructed to eat either whole oat cereal or whole wheat cereal. After 12 weeks, the researchers measured blood lipid levels in both groups. The oat cereal decreased LDL cholesterol and small, dense LDL.

Basically, whole oats significantly improved the blood lipid profile. However, the whole wheat cereal increased total LDL cholesterol by 8% and small, dense LDL by a whopping 60%. Small, dense LDL is the type of cholesterol that is strongly associated with heart disease.

What this means is that whole wheat significantly harms blood lipids and may drastically raise your risk of heart disease. Yes, that slice of “heart-healthy” whole wheat bread may be killing you.

Bottom Line: Eating not-so-“heart healthy” whole wheat may raise small, dense LDL cholesterol by a whopping 60%. This type of cholesterol is strongly associated with heart disease.

Whole Wheat is Just “Less Bad” Than Refined Wheat

It is true that whole grain breads are better for you than breads made with refined grains. They contain more nutrients and fiber. However, they’re just the lesser of two evils. It’s like comparing unfiltered cigarettes to filtered cigarettes. Filtered cigarettes are less harmful, but that does not make them healthy.

If you really must include bread in your life, then there are some options that aren’t quite as bad. Bread made with soaked and sprouted grains may be less bad for you than regular bread. Preparing it this way reduces the amount of phytic acid.

Ezekiel bread, for example, is made of sprouted grains. This probably makes it less unhealthy than other breads. Gluten-free breads may also be healthier than those made with gluten grains like wheat, spelt, rye and barley.

Bottom Line: Whole grain breads are better for you than breads made with refined grains, but the best option is no bread at all. Breads made with soaked and sprouted grains may be less unhealthy.

Take Home Message

Anyone who needs to lose weight, has digestive issues or is somehow affected by the western diet should eliminate bread and other sources of gluten grains.

If a damaged intestinal wall, blood sugar roller coaster, bloating, tiredness and a 60% increase in small, dense LDL isn’t a good enough reasons to quit eating bread, then I don’t know what is.

The Truth about Myopia

The problem is endemic of many areas of Western medicine where chronic rather than acute symptoms are to be dealt with. Acute symptoms are increasingly effectively resolved, while chronic ailments are simply medicated with very questionable long term results.

One such area, widely ignored when it comes to massive health epidemics of recent times, is myopia. Many people don’t even know the term, which simply refers to shortsightedness of the eye. Glasses, contact lenses, and laser surgery are the current status quo of managing this particular chronic symptom.

Interestingly enough, myopia barely even existed, statistically speaking, till the later part of last century. The world has quickly seen the rise of myopia into a staggering billion affected people, faster and more prevalent than just about any modern disease.

And yet, nothing notable is being done to prevent, understand, or even cure this particular eyesight disease. One must ask, why?

First, when asking most optometrists or even ophthalmologists, the answers aren’t very helpful. Genetics are often blamed, though this makes no sense for such a sudden onset of a global epidemic.

In his recent book, The Story of the Human Body, Daniel Lieberman (the chief of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University), had this to say about myopia: “Nearsightedness is a complex trait caused by many interactions among a large number of genes and multiple environmental factors. However, since people’s genes haven’t changed much in the last few centuries, the recent worldwide epidemic of myopia must result primarily from environmental shifts.”

Indeed, once one digs further into the subject, the wide rift between retail sales optometry and ophthalmology, and the science faction become very apparent. There are the subjects of NITM (near-induced transient myopia) which defines almost all early stages of myopia, which take up thousands of pages on Google Scholar. It becomes quickly apparent that indeed science knows where myopia comes from, that it is indeed environmental, and even transient (ie. temporary). It isn’t until the retail medicine comes into play, medicating a temporary symptom into a permanent and progressive illness, that we find lens-induced myopia, an equally prolific subject in the science community.

An equal amount of telling data is available from the other side, the one that tells us myopia is mysterious and unknowable, and sells millions of lens prescriptions annually. The rapid multi billion dollar annual growth in stock valuations of all the world’s largest lens manufacturers is difficult to reconcile in ways other than simply a ride on the wave of the myopia the industry themselves create.

Industry publications like the British Journal of Opthalmology have this to say about the money grab that happens at the expensive of our eyesight:

“Ophthalmologists should also recognise and take up the challenge of preventing or curing myopia by addressing its cause and not simply treating the consequences.”

This is bold indeed from a veteran publication that relies heavily on the sponsorship of the very industry whose practices it questions. When even the most entrenched industry journals politely hint that an alternative course of action would be appropriate, how can the public remain so well shielded from the myopia-for-profit reality?

Of course there are legitimate alternatives. Behavioral ophthalmology requires the same extensive schooling as all ophthalmology specializations, and yet remains heavily derided in public discourse. Wikipedia editors are rumored to have been paid off to write mind bogglingly slanderous “definitions” of the practice, which makes the mistake of questioning the status quo of permanent prescriptions as the only treatment.

Can we ever change course, or are we resigned to the 90% myopia incidences that are today’s reality among school children in countries like South Korea?

Only time can tell. If stock prices are any indication though, it’s profits before health, the mantra we should have come to expect from retail medicine.

Author: Neha Gupta is a holistic ophthalmology practitioner, in private practice for the past 14 years. Her speciality is myopia prevention and rehabilitation, and light therapy for vision related illness. Her writings related to topics of improving eyesight through rehabilitation can be found online at http://www.frauenfeldclinic.com

Most people probably live under the assumption that their place of dwelling is a safe haven from all the dangers that lurk “out there.” But little do they know that many common household products contain deadly chemicals that are known to cause cancer, reproductive harm, birth defects and other health damage. Here’s six of the most popular categories to avoid for the safety of you and your family:

1) Air fresheners. They’re a staple in many American households, but conventional air fresheners are a hotbed of poisonous substances that could leave you and your loved ones infertile, brain-damaged or chronically ill. Tests conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that most air fresheners contain phthalates, which among other things interfere with male hormone production.

Most air fresheners are also loaded with other cancer-causing volatile organic compounds as well, which interfere with reproduction, respiration and cellular regeneration. A 2008 study conducted by Anne Steinemann at the University of Washington found that all air fresheners tested emitted chemicals known to be carcinogenic, meaning they cause cancer.

Instead of toxic commercial air fresheners, stick with all-natural essential oils, which can be applied to the skin or released into the air from a diffuser.

2) Candles. Similar to commercial air fresheners, many scented candles are also toxic. A study pioneered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that nearly half of all scented candles on the market contain lead wiring in their wicks, which is released into the air upon burning. This lead might make the wicks more stable, but it also leads to hormone disruption, behavioral disorders and various other health problems.

Many candles are also made of paraffin wax which, when burned, generates two highly toxic compounds, benzene and toluene, both of which are carcinogenic. Artificial fragrances and dyes are also present in many scented candles, which when burned end up in your lungs.

3) Art supplies. Cultural enrichment and creativity are both positive aspirations in life, but not when they involve many conventional art supplies. Many of the epoxy materials, glues, acrylic paints and solvents, drawing utensils and other supplies used to create art contain chemicals linked to allergies, organ damage and cancer.

The federal Labeling Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA) requires that all art supplies sold in the U.S. bear warnings if they cause any acute hazards. But manufacturers are not required to provide an ingredients list, which is why it is recommended that users of such supplies purchase only products that are certified by the Art and Creative Materials Institute (ACMI).

ACMI-certified products undergo rigorous evaluations by independent toxicologists to make sure that they are safe for everyone, including small children.

4) Shampoos and conditioners. Toxins in cosmetics is a huge issue today, with many conventional consumer products — including some labeled as “natural” or “organic” — containing ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate that generate cancer-causing byproducts when used. Other carcinogenic additives commonly used in hair care products include polyethylene glycol (PEG) and cocamide DEA.

Safe Cosmetics has put together a list of the safest and most eco-friendly shampoos on the market, which are free of most or all of the chemicals listed in its “Skin Deep” database, which you can access here:
SafeCosmetics.org.

5) Antiperspirant deodorants. Millions of people use them daily to cover up foul body odor and reduce armpit perspiration. But antiperspirant deodorants are a no-go if you want to avoid chemicals like aluminum chlorohydrate, which can absorb directly into the skin and promote the formation of breast cancer. Aluminum from antiperspirants is also believed to contribute to brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Other toxic additives in antiperspirant deodorants include parabens, a class of artificial preservatives that mimics estrogen in the body and promotes the growth of cancer cells. Parabens are also linked to gastrointestinal damage, nausea and central nervous system depression.

6) Shower curtains. They might help prevent water from spraying all over the floor, but your average plastic shower curtain acts something like a radiator for toxic chemical release. Many shower curtains, it turns out, off-gas harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that are known to damage the respiratory tract, central nervous system, liver and kidneys.

If your shower curtain has that unique “new shower curtain smell,” it is likely releasing deadly chemicals — potentially upwards of 108 different VOCs, in fact — that are harming you and your children. For this reason, it is important to stick with only non-toxic, PVC-free shower curtains made without these harmful chemicals.

Some of the best options include shower curtains made from hemp, linen, birch, organic cotton or PEVA, which you can learn more about here:
RonAndLisa.com.

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An analysis of over 50 studies suggests an association between short-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause and a 40 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The study, published Thursday in the journal The Lancet, reviewed data from 21,488 women who lived in North America, Europe and Australia. Researchers observed that women who used HRT for only a few years were more likely to develop the two most common types of ovarian cancer, compared to women who had never taken HRT. Those types are serous epithelial and endometrioid ovarian cancer. HRT use was not linked to an increased risk of the other two main types of ovarian cancer: mucinous and clear cell ovarian cancers.

HRT for menopause is meant to replace hormones that the body no longer makes after menopause. Doctors used to prescribe it as a standard treatment to relieve hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. A large clinical study later suggested one type of the treatment— the estrogen-progestin pill Prerempo— posed more risks than benefits, and doctors started to become less inclined to prescribe it as a result. Those risks included heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer.

However, that decrease in use has now leveled off, according to a news release for the current study. About 6 million women in the United Kingdom and the United States use HRT today to relieve menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal symptoms like dryness, itchiness, burning and discomfort during sexual intercourse.

The new research analyzed use of the two most common types of HRT used during menopause: those containing only estrogen or those containing a combination of estrogen and progestagen.

Study author Sir Richard Peto, a medical statistics and epidemiology professor at the University of Oxford, said in the news release that his team’s research suggests that, among women who take HRT for five years starting at about age 50, there will be about one extra ovarian cancer diagnosis for every 1,000 users and one extra death from ovarian cancer for every 1,700 users.

For the meta-analysis, over 100 scientists worldwide analyzed individual participant data from 52 studies— a body of research that they say encompassed all of the epidemiological evidence ever gathered on HRT use and ovarian cancer.

Study authors saw an increased risk of ovarian cancer among current users as well as those who had used the treatment within the past five years, but that risk declined over time after stopping treatment. But, among women who had used HRT for at least five years, that risk remained 10 years later.

“The definite risk of ovarian cancer even with less than five years of HRT is directly relevant to today’s patterns of use— with most women now taking HRT for only a few years— and has implications for current efforts to revise U.K. and worldwide guidelines,” study author Dame Valerie Beral, epidemiology professor at the University of Oxford, said in the news release.

Researchers noted the increased risk was not altered by the age at which HRT began, body size, past use of oral contraceptives— which are thought to protect against ovarian cancer— hysterectomy, alcohol use, tobacco use, or family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

Current HRT guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as those in the U.S. and Europe don’t mention ovarian cancer as a risk, the news release noted. The U.K. guidelines associate a risk with long-term use.

Here are 7 beverages you should avoid consuming at any time, for your health and your waist line:

1. Soft Drinks (soda, pop, carbonated beverages, fizzy drinks, etc.)

There isn’t enough bad things to say about soft drinks of any kind. Soft drinks account for more than a quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States. That works out to at least one 12-ounce can per day for every man, woman and child. They are estimated to be at least one-third of the problem related to child obesity. Carbonated soda pop provides more added sugar in a typical 2-year-old toddler’s diet than cookies, candies and ice cream combined.

Many sodas and diet soft drinks approach the pH level of battery acid in terms of corrosiveness and erosion of tooth enamel.

Besides the fact that diet soda causes dehydration, weight gain, mineral depletion, diabetes and caffeine addiction, research shows they’re also responsible for an increased risk of vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

Artificially sweetened soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, due to their lack of calories. However, past research has shown very serious long-term health consequences due to highly toxic additives and artificial sweeteners such as sodium benzoate, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup.

Men who drink just one 300ml can of soda per day are much more likely to require treatment for a serious form of cancer than those who never consumed the drink. One soda a day can raise aggressive cancer risk by 40 percent.

One study of more than 66,000 women found those who drank artificially sweetened drinks were more 60 percent more likely to develop diabetes than those who indulged in regular versions of the same beverage.

Another recent study published in the journal Respirology revealed that soft drink consumption is associated with lung and breathing disorders including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

2. Tap Water

If you’re still drinking tap water, you may be hiding from a flurry of information exposing its dangers.

Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times.

Many readers know fluoride is a chemical waste product of the fertilizer industry that is problematic environmentally in regard to how to dispose of it. So the government and the industry figured out that putting it in our drinking water would solve the problem.

Studies have shown that fluoride can pull lead from pipes and add that to the poisonous mix coming from our taps. That might be the reason fluoride also seems to bring copper and aluminum with it as well as the lead.

Animal studies have demonstrated evidence of fluoride’s toxic effects on brain tissue. These include brain cell damage, reduced lipid content, impairment in anti-oxidant defense systems, increased aluminum uptake, and the formation of beta-amyloid plaques. These are the plaques which are indicative of Alzheimer’s Disease. Maybe this explains why many dogs seem to prefer to drink from puddles than their own tap-filled water dishes.

Depending on the country, cardiovascular disease is typically either the number one or two cause of death. A new study published in Nuclear Medicine Communications Journal has concluded that increased uptake of fluoride in arteries may be associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.

Just in case the toxicity levels of fluoride were not sufficient in the water supply, are now proposing that lithium could soon be added to drinking water.

An investigation by the Associated Press (AP) has also revealed that the drinking water of at least 41 million people in the United States is contaminated with pharmaceutical drugs.

Drinking tap water contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a serious health risk. The highest measured levels of PFOA in human blood in the US, other than factory exposures, are in people who have consumed PFOA contaminated tap water.

Lead pipes once used routinely in municipal water distribution systems are a well-recognized as a source of dangerous lead contamination. Construction crews have been feverishly replacing these pipes in major cities in Canada and the U.S, but only partially using brass in conjunction with copper lines. The research shows that joining old lead pipes with new copper lines using brass fittings spurs galvanic corrosion that can dramatically increase the amount of lead released into drinking water supplies.

3. Sport Drinks

The sports drinks market keeps rising because unsuspecting consumers keep feeding into the marketing ploy. Worldwide, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry sponsoring some of the biggest athletes. But in a word, it’s “crap”.

Gatorade is almost as corrosive as coke. Researchers at the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry found that energy drinks and sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Red Bull, eroded the enamel more than soda and fruit juices. In a 2008 study published in the journal Nutrition Research, the dentists soaked extracted human teeth in various liquids for 25 hours, and then measured the structural changes, or lesions.

“Power drinks can be quite acidic, usually because there is an addition of citric acid to those to give it tartness that is desired by some consumers,” said Dr. Clark Stanford, the associate dean for research at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. ” It’s important to look at the label and see if citric acid has been added.” Sipping on sports drinks can damage your teeth because of the high levels of acid in them, dentists have warned.

A recent study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth–specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.

Some experts called for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — which treats energy drinks as dietary supplements — to require warning labels on the hundreds of energy drinks now on the market.

Sports drinks are loaded with petrochemical artificial colors that have no purpose other than to make a visually appealing beverage. Artificial colors offer no nutritional value which support the assertion by many that sports drinks are a complete waste of money and can really harm you.

If you want a real energy drink, try the rehydrating powers of coconut water which match or even better any carbohydrate-electrolyte sports beverage.

Even bananas were found to have the same or more health benefits during heavy exercise than high-tech sports drinks.

4. Specialty Coffee

I know this may disappoint many coffee drinkers, but there are responsible ways to drink coffee and the other ways. If you indulge in big brand name speciality coffee from chains such as Starbucks or McDonalds, not only are you getting coffee from toxic coffee beans, but you’re consuming some serious calories.

How about a Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee? Try 660 calories. Or what about a Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee. That’ll be 600 calories. Why would you want to add this kind of artificially liquid creamed, refined sugared, artificially sweetened coffee to your daily beverage consumption?

Recently, there has been a big push to promote the benefits of coffee. From fighting free radicals, to improving memory, diabetes, parkinsons, and even reducing cancer risk, there is plenty of studies touting the so-called miraculous health benefits of coffee. But are these claims true and non-biased or exagerrated claims with alterior motives? Some of the biggest promoters of coffee’s health benefits come from the largest producers themselves such as those in Brazil.

I personally love coffee, but I will only drink bold organic varities that are grown responsibily. You won’t find this kind of coffee at Starbucks or any other kind of large coffee chain. The only types of coffee beans you’ll get from any major chain of specialty coffee is pesticide-laden and chemically grown.

The coffee plant is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. It’s coated with chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides, nothing you’d want to be ingesting. These chemicals then leech into the ground water and make people sick in local areas where coffee is grown.

Even though many chemicals that have been found to be harmful to the environment have been banned or are strictly regulated in the U.S. or Europe, they remain legal to use in less-developed countries, including many countries that grow coffee.

Endosulfan, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, disulfoton, methyl parathion, triadimefon and cypermethrin and a few of many chemicals and pesticides used to grow coffee all over the world.

Coffee should be brewed within 4-6 weeks after roasting. The industry standard shelf life is 1 year. Over 70% of coffee importers do not follow these protocols far exceeding the time range for sales and stock.

Organic coffee is one of the choices you could resort to especially if you are searching for high quality and the best coffee blends. This is fast becoming a favorite among coffee aficionados because of its high end and awesome taste and aroma. Moreover, coffee lovers who are health conscious at the same time find this coffee choice the most remarkable one.

There are renowned coffee beans and brands for organic java which are trusted by countless coffee lovers around the world. Green Mountain: Fair Trade Organic, Sprouts Farmers Market and Tom Thumb (Safeway): O Organics European Blend are just few of the brands established in the market today.

The best way to help our migratory birds is to purchase certified Bird Friendly coffees. Rather than being grown on land that has been cleared of all other vegetation, Bird Friendly coffees are planted under a canopy of trees that provide habitat for birds. In addition to being shade grown, Bird Friendly coffees are also organic, meaning they’re grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers that poison the environment. See what Kenn Kaufman says about Bird Friendly Coffee on his blog.

The Rainforest Alliance has a broad social and ecological mandate that spans many sectors including agriculture. Coffee is one of the agricultural crops targeted by Rainforest Alliance programs. The coffee certification program is aimed at ensuring that coffee workers are paid fairly, treated with respect and that the crop they tend does not contribute to soil erosion, water contamination and forest destruction: the Rainforest Alliance seal means that both social and environmental values are respected.

5. Pasteurized Milk

The United States is the world’s largest producer of pasteurized cow milk, but oddly enough it is also one of the world’s smallest consumers. The dairy industry thus has a vested interest in eliminating all raw milk suppliers from the market place to enforce and increase per capita consumption of pasteurized milk which is lagging behind most of the world.

Pasteurized milk is perhaps one of the most nutritionally deficient beverages misappropriately labeled as a “perfect food.” Raw milk enthusiasts have known for a very long time that unpasteurized milk is the ONLY milk worthy of consumption. Pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

All cow’s milk (regular and ‘organic’) has 59 active hormones, scores of allergens, fat and cholesterol. Cow milk may also have measurable quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins (up to 200 times the safe levels), up to 52 powerful antibiotics (perhaps 53, with LS-50), blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses.

The primary claim by the food industry: As the world’s population climbs, the sustainable production and distribution of food is balanced against the need to ensure its chemical and microbiological safety. Scientists believe they must irradiate, pasteurize and sterilize all foods to keep the public safe.

And pasteurization does not always kill the bacteria for Johne’s disease suspected of causing Crohn’s disease in humans with which most confinement cows are infected. Much commercial milk is now ultra-pasteurized to get rid of heat-resistant bacteria and give it a longer shelf life. Ultra-pasteurization is a violent process that takes milk from a chilled temperature to above the boiling point in less than two seconds.

One of the possible methods of pasteurization uses propylene oxide, a highly flammable and “highly toxic” chemical used in thermobaric weapons. Foods treated with the chemical are banned in some countries, including Canada and Mexico, as well as the European Union.

A very interesting point addressed by Marco Torres is do we really need to drink any milk of any kind from another species besides our own?

I love coconut, nut and seed milks. Brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and hemp seeds all make nutrient dense, great tasting milks and they’re all essentially made the same way and you can make them yourself without any sophisticated equipment.

6. Processed Fruit Juice

One of the great scams of the industrial food cartel is the so-called “fresh” orange juice sold in supermarkets.

Ever wonder why commercial orange juice–even the premium, not-from-concentrate, “100-percent pure” juice kind–tastes the same each time you buy it, but doesn’t taste exactly like a freshly peeled orange?

Turns out there’s a lot more to making juice than simply squeezing some citrus. As part of the mass-production process, big-name brands like Tropicana, Minute Maid, Simply Orange, and Florida’s Natural add artificial flavouring in order to make sure your juice tastes consistent from carton to carton–and to make sure it tastes like oranges.

“It really rocks people’s world to learn that most orange juice is not a fresh product,” says Alisa Hamilton, author of “Squeezed: What You Don’t Want to Know About Orange Juice”

Pasteurized, not-from-concentrate orange juice takes up a lot of storage space. In order to keep it from spoiling without adding chemical preservatives, the companies “deaerate” (or strip the oxygen out of) the juice. (Another surprise: During production, deaerated juice often sit in million-gallon tanks for as long as a year before it hits supermarket shelves.)

A shocking investigation has also revealed that some of the best known brands of apple juice contain arsenic.

American apple juice is made from apple concentrate, 60% of which is imported from China. Other countries may use pesticides that contain arsenic, a heavy metal known to cause cancer and heart disease.

Findings of a Consumer Reports investigation about arsenic and lead levels in apple juice and grape juice have prompted the organization to call for government standards to limit consumers’ exposure to these toxins.

Fruit juices of any kind are rarely 100% juice and specific additives to extend shelf life can be hazardous to your health and your family.

7. Any Artificially Sweetened Beverage

Aspartame and sucralose are still used in hundreds of artificially sweetened drinks including cocktails, milks, juices, cold coffees and sodas. If you see either of these two ingredients in any beverage, please do not consume it. They are two of the most toxic sweeteners in the world.

Monsanto, the creator of Aspartame knows all about the dangers. They fund the American Diabetics Association, the Conference of the American College of Physicians and Congress.

When aspartame is ingested into the digestive tract, it breaks down into numerous other poisons. The intact Aspartame molecule and its diketopiperazine form are vastly worse poisonings than any of the other poisonings which arise from it during digestion, and liver processing of the digestive blood, which is delivered directly to the liver via the portal vein. The other poisonings, as mentioned, are indeed horrendous but Aspartame from gum is far worse, making even the smaller amounts contained in chewing gum strikingly dangerous and damaging.

Aspartame, via ingestion into the digestive tract, is made into some ten other poisonings by the digestive processes, and then excepting that which is delivered directly to the pancreas, they are transported straight to the liver via the portal vein, where they then are very partially dealt with, and partially reprocessed. Afterwards, they are sent in somewhat lesser concentration to the entire body, lessening the amount which eventually goes to the brain.

A report from scientists at Duke University demonstrated that the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose) and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 11 to 27 percent of ingested sucralose is absorbed by the human body (FDA 1998). Research published by the manufacturer of sucralose (Roberts 2000) shows that when 8 healthy male adults where given sucralose (in 1 mg/kg amounts), between 10.4% and 30.6% of the sucralose was absorbed. In addition, 1.6% to 12.2% of the sucralose accumulates in the body.

Splenda/sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar; a chlorocarbon. Common chlorocarbons include carbon tetrachloride, trichlorethelene and methylene chloride, all deadly. Chlorine is nature’s Doberman attack dog, a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas and hydrochloric acid.

In test animals Splenda produced swollen livers, as do all chlorocarbon poisons, and also calcified the kidneys of test animals in toxicity studies. The brain and nervous system are highly subject to metabolic toxicities and solvency damages by these chemicals. Their high solvency attacks the human nervous system and many other body systems including genetics and the immune function. Thus, chlorocarbon poisoning can cause cancer, birth defects, and immune system destruction. These are well known effects of Dioxin and PCBs which are known deadly chlorocarbons.

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

Banana Halts Prostate Cancer Growth by >80%:

ripe bananas

An extract of banana peel (from organic bananas) was shown slow the growth of prostate cancer cells by over 80% in this study, by inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Prostate enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH) in men is also caused by excess DHT, so in theory banana peel extract could also help with this condition.

Intriguingly, this is exactly what was observed with mice in this same study—their prostate overgrowth was significantly inhibited by banana peel extract. What makes banana peels so special?

Previous lab studies have shown them to be rich sources of powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Although no studies have been done using banana peels on humans, several population studies have shown that regular banana consumption may reduce colon cancer risk by up to 72%, breast cancer risk in women by 43% and kidney cancer risk by 46%.

Bananas (and peels) are also rich sources of melatonin: in fact, eating two bananas quadrupled melatonin levels in healthy adults in one recent study. This is relevant to prostate cancer: another study from Europe showed that men with the highest levels of melatonin had 75% less risk of prostate cancer!

And alkaline diet fans take note: one medium banana has the same alkalizing power as 1.5 cups of pure lemon juice!

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